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MINIX: High-Efficiency Wingtip for Subsonic Flight

  1. MINIX
    High-Efficiency Wingtip for Subsonic Flight

    An old dream became reality when the Wright brothers first took to the air. Since that day, the aircraft has became a focus for all. And since that date, improvements have been constant to reduce drag in all forms, but only one remained stubborn... the wingtip vortices.

    Induced drag cannot be completely removed because it generates the lift of aircraft. It is 10% of the total drag at high speed, 20% in climb up and 70 to 80% taking off! In fact, the induced drag is inversely proportional to the square of the speed, while the remainder of the drag is directly proportional to the square of the velocity. A one percent reduction of the drag saves millions of dollars to air transport company and, more of 3% of global pollution is made by the aviation industry.

    You can put any dam at the wingtip, but nothing can stop the vortex from forming, therefore, from this conclusion, inventor Christian Hugues decided to look into the problem and focus his research on a specific shape to reduce this helical motion of this induced drag.

    In the beginning (circa 1997), he created a rough prototype, fixed to the roof of his car, equipped with strands of red wool to observe airflow at high speed, visible by opening his sunroof. He found the strands of wool were headed in the right direction. After several wind tunnel tests on 28 different prototypes, he finally got a very interesting result. He continued research with a five-digital blower on an airplane where a net gain of 6% on the entire airplane was achieved.
  2. Due to an emerging interest in wind turbines, he has also done eight-digital blower campaigns on the wind turbine U.S. NREL, where a gain of 14% of additional efficiency power - averaged by year - was achieved with less vibration on the entire structure and no changes to the axial thrust.

    Since that date, 14 patents were filed, of which 2 are in the USA. In April and June 2012, actual tests were made using an RV4 and RV8 with results far beyond the laboratory wind tunnel tests and numerical wind tunnel. 2 further tests are planned on an RV7 and RV8 in Europe in 2012.
  3. This invention is based on three pressures:

    1 - The local pressure in front of the airplane
    2 - depression caused by the upper surface (extrados)
    3 - The pressure caused by the under surface (intrados)

    Notice that the leading edge of wing tip of the airplane is continuous with the leading edge of the MINIX tear-drop shaped inlet of MINIX. This specific form causes a COANDA effect and allows:

    - Accelerating and directing the flow towards the inside of the cylinder

    - Directing from its creation, a part of rotary motion of the vortex.

    Indeed, when the relative wind enters the cylinder, half of the efficiency is achieved. The acceleration of the air entering by the inlet of the cylinder will cause a greater depression in and capture a portion of the pressure swirling around the cylinder by a helical slot along the entire second half of the device. This acceleration will cause the output to multiple mini-vortex trailing edge of the wing.

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